WASHINGTON, the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com), 31 August 2018, Editor: Galina Zdravkova, Photo credit: US Navy/F-35C landing on USS Abraham Lincoln
The F-35C has been tested aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on the Atlantic Ocean by the US Navy. The operational tests were started on 28 August 2018 and scheduled to continue through the end of August, learned BulgarianMilitary.com
Six F-35C aircraft from Strike Fighter Squadron 125 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California and Strike Fighter Squadron 101 based at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida were involved in the evaluations.
By now, F-35C and F/A-18 Super Hornet pilots have only conducted carrier qualifications together. Within these operational tests the F-35Cs have joined for the first time a carrier air wing to perform in a cyclic operations environment. During cyclic operations, aircraft simulate missions, practice aerial manoeuvres and take off and land continuously with brief pauses to allow for maintenance, fuel and ordnance changes.
Rear Adm Dale Horan, director, Joint Strike Fighter Fleet Integration Office, commented, “We hope to see how it integrates onboard the ship,” says. “Can we maintain it? Can we get the parts? Can we get it airborne? Can we repair it if it has a problem?”
As reported by the US Navy, it has been evaluated the suitability of the F-35C aboard the carrier by tracking how well it performs with other aircraft and incorporates into an air plan, monitoring maintenance and identifying its logistics footprint, as well as its effectiveness in real-world scenarios.
Capt Matt Norris from the Joint Strike Fighter Operational Test Team said, “We’ve been integrating with the strike group and accomplishing many missions like defensive counter air and anti-submarine warfare, for instance.”
The F-35C is the naval version of the stealth fighter. It features bigger wings and more robust landing gear than the other versions, which allows it to be catapult launched and then arrested with a cable when it lands aboard an aircraft carrier, as explained by Lockheed Martin.
Such mission simulations are important for the US Navy for assessing how the communications and datalinks of the stealth fighter operate with the carrier and other aircraft such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
Read more: Second Stealth Destroyer Goes to the US Navy
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